Saturday, November 27, 2021


 I just read this:

Nothing is more repugnant to capable, reasonable people than grace.

-   John Wesley

Friday, November 26, 2021


I am grateful for being able to cook much of the Thanksgiving food the day before, while I had a nauseous headache. 

I'm grateful I was able to eat dinner today with a nauseous headache, and feel better afterward.

I am grateful for two people who didn't care that it just wasn't in me to make the mashed potato and turnip, or the glazed carrots. They ate what I did make, and complimented me on it.

I'm grateful to be working in a place that's always closed the day after Thanksgiving.

I am grateful for Exedrin, kombucha and peppermint tea.

I'm grateful that after thinking I'd have to cook an eight pound turkey breast for over three hours, I found Ina Garten's recipe which said it would only take a little more than two. At the same temp. It was perfect!

Dolly is grateful for an evening of pleasurable jazz, which I saw her enjoying every time I came into my room, where she was snuggled up to the radio.

In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

 -    I Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, November 22, 2021

moondancing in the kitchen

The golden leaves which were on the cherry tree last Thursday, that glorious day, fell almost entirely off the next day, when the (normal) colder weather returned. I guess it was a shock, because most of the leaves are down everywhere. Not that it was so cold, but after such a day - 

I always think of Moondance by Van Morrison; he's singing of October skies, and leaves falling. Our leaves fall in November - surely the Irish climate is milder than ours? I guess it's poetic license, and I love the song all the same. And now we're settling in for winter. 

I bought some gluten-free flour substitute, some spelt and some einkorn flour, and I'm experimenting. I made a batch of brownies I've made many times, with the gluten-free, and a little less sugar, and they were just as delicious as the original. But today I made a pie crust dough with part einkorn and part spelt. This is for the sweet potato pie I'm going to bake on Wednesday. I wanted to bake it a little so the filling wouldn't make the dough gummy, but it was practically melting and I ended up tossing it. This caused me to look up the why's and wherefore's of pie crust. These flours I used have less gluten, and the crust I made seemed like it was just melting after a short time in the oven. I learned from my researches that a moderate amount of gluten makes the best crust. Maybe I should stick to what I know, especially on a big holiday! 


Sunday, November 21, 2021

King of the Universe

Today is the last Sunday in the church year, next week being the first Sunday of Advent - already!

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha'Olam! 

this means Blessed are You, King of the Universe (roughly - I don't speak Hebrew, but I know this prayer).

To Thee be endless praise,
For Thou for us hast died;
Be Thou, O Lord, through endless days
Adored and magnified.

from Crown Him with Many Crowns

Thursday, November 18, 2021

happy day

 Today was the dreamiest of days! Well up into the sixties and bright sun. Windows were opened, fresh air was welcomed in! A day to be remembered.

I had noticed a few days ago that the cherry tree turned yellow overnight. Now, it's golden, and the Japanese maple's leaves are brilliant red; the sun was shining through them today making them look like jewels. I tried again to capture some reds with the camera.

Better, but not good enough. I tell you, it was like a tree of rubies. Anyway, I stayed out as long as I could think of things to do - I cut back the leggy canes on the roses, since they'll break under the first heavy snow without the pruning. I swept around the foundation to remove dead grass and spider webs, and pulled a few weeds. 

I was thinking the beautiful day was going to take me away from my plans to make curtains for the living room, but I managed it. A happy day.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

trying to repair the ruins

 "The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection."

                                                              -  John Milton

Saturday, November 13, 2021

bare trees and birds

There is a group of bushes next to the grocery store entrance, and every week lately - for how long, I don't know because I haven't always paid attention - it sounds like dozens of birds talking and fussing in there, every week in the late afternoon, when we go in and when we come out.  Last week it was dark, but they still chattered. I was there earlier today and the bushes were quiet, so it's an end-of-the-day thing. I wonder what they talk about. 

Speaking of birds at the supermarket, while I was in the checkout line a woman came in with a scarlet and blue macaw; I'm not kidding! The young cashier and bagger were saying, "Here it is again", and complaining about the raucous cries. A therapy bird? She was holding it close to her chest - how did she manage to gather her groceries? 

Many of the leaves came off the trees yesterday in some very strong winds and warm rain. Today was bright and beautiful; we have one window where I always admire the trees and their branches.

The same scene late afternoon, during a wild thunderstorm

I never tire of looking out, while I'm doing things around the house.

Speaking of which, there is a patch of brilliant red across the brook, which I can see plainly from the kitchen, but I wanted to take a picture. It didn't transfer to the photo. I couldn't capture it for anything. Of course, I do need a new point-and-shoot. But I see these bright, bright reds around town and they're so beautiful - not burning bush, though - it's just a patch of something, growing where the birds planted it, but I'm afraid it's poisonous so I'm reluctant to pick any. I really need to continue my identifications of the plant life on our property.

There were a few holiday book returns at the library yesterday. I wasn't thinking of Christmas at all yet, with my mind on planning the Thanksgiving menu, but these books are hard to resist when they cross my path.

So I took it home. I'll see if there's anything in there that might be helpful. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

long sentences and short memories

 It's Veteran's Day.

I'm still with How to Train a Fox, and I do want to finish it, even though it's dry and I haven't picked it up much lately. Jane Eyre is going to take me a while (am I kidding myself? all books take me a while), since it's so fat; I have read it before, but I recently went back to an earlier podcast of Close Reads where they had a great conversation about it, and I determined to first watch all the modern versions of it I could get, which was pretty easy, since we have four at the library! (wasn't it Hemingway who wrote over-long sentences? I haven't read Hemingway yet, but I know that sentence was too long.) While I was in the midst of this, somebody dropped off unwanted books and this paperback was there for my taking.

The Year of Our Lord 1943 is subtitled Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis, and I've only just started it. The author is talking about the failure of the churches to hold back the decline of society, their failure to be enough of an influence on young people. Then he (Alan Jacobs) mentions a book published in that year by Amy Buller, Darkness Over Germany, and she says: "I record these stories (of conversations with young Germans) to emphasize the need for youth and those who plan the training of youth to consider carefully the full significance of the tragedy of a whole generation of German youth, who, having no faith, made Nazism their religion." Then Alan Jacobs says: "But Buller insists that even this wholesale ecclesiastical collapse would not have been sufficient to ruin almost the whole of German youth if the universities had not been equally complicit in the Nazification of the country." This, I fear, is happening all over again.

I'm also working on a skirt, with a bit of light blue corduroy that Cyndi gave me long ago. I'm using Amy Butler's (not the above-mentioned Amy Buller - funny!) Barcelona skirt pattern.

It has layers, but not gathered, and they have raw edges - so, we'll see how that looks in corduroy. I do like my frayed edges.

Monday, November 8, 2021

this is November


It's November - right now everything is a cross between old gold and faded orange and it's fantastic.

Saturday, November 6, 2021


 O God of love, grant us your peace,
Within each restless mind.
May all our inner turmoil cease,
God show us how to find
Your quiet rest, your still, small voice,
Your light upon life's way,
To walk with you our humble choice,
God give us grace to pray.

O God of all, grant us your peace,
We share one human bond,
And so when others seek release,
God, help us to respond
To heal the sick, to seek the lost,
To set the captive free,
To serve and never count the cost,
May we live peacefully!

                   - from Magnificat, November 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021

frosty mornings

 We've been having frosts at night. The other day I picked the rest of the little crops - I say "little" because it was all small peppers and itty bitty tomatoes. But they're all in now and I have to do something with them.

When my brother tilled the garden, he left the marigolds blooming along the edge, so I ran out and cut a few for inside.

They look nice with copper, but they're rather stinky. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

a little refresh

 It may have almost ten degrees cooler today, but the sun was bright, and before starting dinner I just had to go outside and walk in it. I crossed the bridge to the other side of the brook. Just for a moment.